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Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears by…

Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears (original 1975; edition 1980)

by Verna Aardema

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2,3261562,710 (4.07)8
Title:Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears
Authors:Verna Aardema
Info:Scholastic (1980), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Tags:ETEC 525

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Why Mosquitos Buzz in People's Ears by Verna Aardema (1975)


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This would be a good book to read when talking about myths and folklore. I think children would enjoy it because of the rhythmic pattern that is used throughout. ( )
  Kate_Schulte078 | Apr 29, 2015 |
Summary: This story recounts an African legend. A mosquito in the story lies to a lizard. The lizard then puts sticks in its ears to frighten another animal in the story, causing disorder among all the animals. Towards the end of the story, a baby owl is killed and its mother is too sad to wake the sun up until the animals court meeting to find out why and how her baby died. The mosquito is found responsible and goes into hiding to avoid any harsh punishments. Now, it continuously buzzes in the ears of people to see it anyone is still angry with it.

Personal reflection: This was the first African tale I've read and I thought it was really hard to follow along with. The story provides good character building traits that could be used to help students learn from lying and scheming.

Class use: Text set for West African literature, Text set for tales, I could read this book aloud to the class and we could construct a timeline of events in the book to keep an organized understanding of the tale. Ask students to create their own tales about why mosquitos buzz in peoples' ears.
  MelissaKlatt | Apr 29, 2015 |
This book follows a nice sequence of events for kids to read. It follows the animals and an unfortunate set of events that eventually the animals must find out who caused a death in its animal kingdom. Eventually the mosquito tries to find out if the situation is still talked about and eventually faces severe consequences. This book can really help kids find a cause and effect. The kids can also help demonstrate an order of events. ( )
  kxmart | Apr 17, 2015 |
I really enjoyed this book! I loved the illustrations. I thought that they were unique and very interesting. Besides being unique and interesting, they were very bold, colorful, and big! I liked the use of onomatopoeia throughout the story. For example, the author wrote, “She turned her head toward the east and hooted: ‘Hoo! Hoooooo! Hooooooo!’” I think that this literary device really enhanced the story because the sounds of the different animals were being introduced. I think that the main idea is to introduce the topic of cause and effect. The story was centered on a chain reaction of events and their consequences. This is a very interesting story, and a must read! ( )
  CRoss13 | Apr 7, 2015 |
Lindsey Johnson

Book #7


Book Summary: Mosquito tells iguana a lie and iguana puts sticks in his ear so that he doesn’t have to listen to him. While walking through the forest python sees him and tries to talk to him but iguana can’t hear him. So python hides in rabbit’s hole, and scares him, this starts a chain of events that turns the forest upside down. After an owlet is killed the forest has a meeting and decides that it is mosquito’s fault. To this day mosquito flies around and whispers in people’s ears asking them if the animals are still mad at him. He gets his answer, KPAO!

Personal Reaction: This book is very cute. I think the children will enjoy reading it.

Extension Activities:
1. Write a story about mosquito redeeming himself, in the killing of the owlet, and what he does now that he is no longer in hiding.
2. Draw illustrations of what the conference of the animals might have looked like.
  LindseyJohnson | Mar 24, 2015 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Verna Aardemaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dillon, DianeIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Dillon, LeoIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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For Marcia VanDuinen who heard this story first
First words
One morning a mosquito saw an iguana drinking at a waterhole.
Is everyone still mad at me?
Mosquito told me such a big lie, I couldn't bear to listen to it. So I put sticks in my ears.
I'd rather be deaf than listen to such nonsense!
It was the mosquito's fault
The mosquito said, "I saw a farmer digging yams that were almost as big as I am."
"What's a mosquito compared to a yam?" snapped the iguana grumpily.
Last words
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Original language
Book description
This West African pourquoi tale explains why mosquitoes buzz in people's ears. It all starts with Mosquito telling a lie to Iguana. Tired of listening to Mosquito, Iguana puts twigs in his own ears. When Python tries to talk to Iguana and Iguana doesn't respond to him, it sets off a chain of events that leads to the sun not rising in the morning. King Lion must learn the story of the events leading back to Mosquito's lie in order to get Mother Owl to call the sun. The story is enhanced by beautiful Caldecott winning illustrations.

If you enjoyed this story, try "Ahanti to Zulu: African Traditions".
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Reveals the meaning of the mosquito's buzz.

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